There are several weather conditions that will dictate how fall will go for agriculture in Canada: if the drought in the west will continue, and when to expect the first frost.
When it comes to a long-range weather forecast, the key words for this fall are La Niña, says Brett Anderson, senior meteorologist with AccuWeather.
Anderson explains that a La Niña is the abnormal cooling of surface waters along the equator of the Pacific, which alters patterns into the fall and winter.
He expects that pattern to strengthen throughout fall and peak in November, which could result in a stormy fall in parts of western B.C., which is good news for fighting forest fires.
Across the Prairies Anderson predicts that the cold air jet stream will be directed up into Northern Alberta, which keeps much of the wind coming down off the mountains dry and warm.
“I’m confident that we’re looking at a warm and dry fall, at least September, October, for much of the Prairie regions,” says Anderson, adding that in November temperatures will get near or even below normal, with some precipitation expected, which will potentially help a bit with soil moisture.
In terms of an early freeze-up for Western Canada, Anderson says the pattern would say no, “but all you need is a big high pressure system coming down from the north on a given day or two, then you get freeze, then it warms back up again.”
The chances of cold plus the much-needed moisture are more likely in Alberta, less so in Saskatchewan, and even less in Manitoba.
For Central and Eastern Canada, Anderson expects dry conditions. “Looking at the overall pattern it looks like more of a north-westerly flow of air, so again that’s not quite as warm as what’s going to be farther to the west, but it’s also a dry pattern,” he says.
“Once you get into central Ontario, southwestern Ontario, I think again, the warm Great Lakes are going to have an influence on average temperature, certainly at night, so factoring that in, most likely you’re looking at a warmer than normal fall for much of Ontario,” explains Anderson.
Certainly in September, Anderson says to expect the same levels of humidity, especially if you’re near the Great Lakes. The probability of early frost in the province are pretty low.
Out on the East Coast, warm waters in the North Atlantic will have an influence, and tropical storm season is ramping up, and although none of those storms appear to be tracking for the region, there’s still the chance that those storms will recurve up. The chances of higher than normal rainfall are good.
Hear the full conversation between Anderson and RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney below: